2010 Emerging Pro Winners

Digital Photo Pro Spotlights The Winners Of The
Fourth Annual Emerging Professional Photo Competition

This year, we took a different tack with our annual Emerging Professional Photo Competition by having all of the submissions online only. The response was overwhelming. In total, we received more than 8,000 images spread out over the three categories, Fine Art, Fashion and Beauty, and Photojournalism and Sports. Thanks to the support of our sponsors, Canon and Datacolor, the Grand Prize winner takes home a $10,000 cash prize, and each First Place winner receives $1,000. Additionally, we made three finalist galleries. To sort through the high caliber of images, we enlisted the help of a diverse group of judges (see their full bios).

Look for the 5th Annual DPP Emerging Professional Photo Competition this fall!

Grand Prize—Fine Art
Cera Hensley
Cera Hensley
Where are you based?
San Francisco, California.

Where did you attend school?
I’m in the Graduate program at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.

What previous contests or awards have you won?
Academy of Art Spring Show 2009, 3rd Place Commercial Photography.

Have you been published previously?
944 Magazine.

What equipment do you use?
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF lenses, MacBook Pro, Adobe Photoshop, Phase One Capture One Pro.

About This Photograph:
This is part of a body of work that explores an area of personal psychology in the human search for purpose. Feelings of solitude, wonder, longing to belonging are exposed in the situations I create. I decided to take an unorthodox approach to creating these stories. I construct miniature landscapes no larger than 3×3 feet in my studio, then photograph them with an uncanny realism.

After photographing the landscape, I photograph real people to invoke a sense of quiet confidence, longing, truth or questioning of existence. I like to create imagery that’s familiar yet otherworldly, thoughtful and curious, unexpected and playful. My chosen method of creation influences my work as it’s a solitary process of exploration and discovery, trying to re-create the essence of a memory or feeling. For this image, I had envisioned a person in the middle of a body of water on an overcast/cloudy day. I wanted to project a sense of solitude and longing in this quiet, contemplative environment. With my camera on a tripod facing what appears to be nothing more than a mess upon the table—clay, neutral-density gel, blue paper and a translucent light disc—I look through the camera, which beholds the landscape I had envisioned.

My goal with this body of work is to provide visually stimulating and thought-provoking imagery that allows for contemplation, reflection and exploration of one’s own experiences in this underlying quest to find purpose and belonging.

To see more of Cera Hensley’s work, go to www.cerahensley.com or her facebook page.

First Place—Fashion & Beauty
John Harris
John Harris

Where are you based?
Dallas, Texas.

Where did you attend school?
The Art Institute of Dallas.

What previous contests or awards have you won?
None. This is the first competition that I’ve entered.

Have you been published previously?
I’ve done some agency work, and I’ve been published in Field & Stream, as well as in 2Wheel Tuner Magazine.

What equipment do you use?
Nikon D3 and Hasselblad with a film back or a digital back. I think I have about every lens Nikon makes. Apple G5 and MacBook Pro, Adobe Photoshop, Nikon NX 1, Adobe Lightroom.

About This Photograph:
This photo was more inspired by my model Lori Dawson. I had a chair that had this tall back and she had long legs, and I wanted to tie a flow from the back of the chair through her legs, and I wanted the shot to show off this hot dress. I wanted to show some emotion in this shot of her alone all dressed up and nowhere to go.

To achieve this effect, I shot a 24mm focal length to really stretch out the shot. My main career prior to switching to and pursuing photography was as a 3D animator. I wanted to tie in a sterile environment to put her in, so I designed a room in Maya 3D and composited that into the shot.

To see more of John Harris’ photography, go to http://johnharrisphotography.net.

First Place—Photo Journalism & Sports
Lindsey Wasson
Lindsey Wasson

Where are you based?
Seattle, Washington.

Where did you attend school?
Seattle University, where I’m in the BFA Photography program.

What previous contests or awards have you won?
In 2009, when I was a senior in high school, I received one of 1
0 scholarships from the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA). I also placed 2nd in the 2009 Washington State High School Photo Competition in the Animal category. In Summer 2010, I was part of a Seattle-based group of college photographers chosen by the Young Photographers Alliance (YPA) to work with practicing photojournalist Dan Lamont.

Have you been published previously?
Several past articles of Teen Ink, Nature’s Best Photography Fall 2010 Windland Smith International Photo Competition issue, and Photographic Center Northwest’s 4th annual photo book.

What equipment do you use?
Nikon D300, Nikon lenses, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop.

About This Photograph:
On October 22, 2010, I took this photograph at an anti-police brutality protest. The October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality gathered about 200 protesters at Seattle Central Community College. There, they voiced their opinions about recent shootings of citizens by Seattle Police. The main focus was on the death of John T. Williams, a local First Nations woodcarver who was shot on August 30, 2010. I was originally covering this protest as part of my work for Seattle University’s student newspaper, The Spectator. Having never shot a protest before, I had little idea what to expect.

Often running backward to keep up with the rather quick-footed protesters, I spotted these two next to me and immediately knew the smoke emanating from the pipe would make a dynamic photo. As we marched past the Paramount in downtown, I took advantage of a slight lull to crouch down in front of the two young men. As I was doing so, I noticed the “End Policing” sign held up in the background, which I included for context.

Small details seem to enhance the photo. On the wires behind them are the reflections of the police motorcycles ironically monitoring the protest; the small light between the wires is a police helicopter following the march. The smoking protester also has a button of John T. Williams pinned to his jacket. The upward angle I shot at allowed me to include all of these elements while placing the protesters in a visual position of dominance to reflect their strong convictions.

To see more of Lindsey Wasson’s photography, go to www.lindseywasson.com.

First Place—Fine Art
Sasha Shemirani
Sasha Shemirani

Where are you based?
Los Angeles, California.

Where did you attend school?
The University of California, San Diego.

What previous contests or awards have you won?
None.

Have you been published previously?
I’m unpublished.

What equipment do you use?
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF lenses, Apple iMac, Adobe Photoshop CS4.

About This Photograph:
The Floating/Falling Apartment was an idea that came to me on a particular day where I had lost control of certain personal and professional elements in my life. As a photographer, I try to channel my emotions into my work, and I feel that this particular photo is an accurate representation of those timely sentiments. I created a tea party atmosphere and interrupted it with an apocalyptic situation. The contrast between the connotative innocence of a tea party and a cataclysmic event is what I hope makes this photo an effective one. Essentially, it’s an apartment from a high-rise building in New York that has broken off and is now falling to the ground. Each and every element floating around in the photo is intended to be a symbol of a personal trait, memory or event.

The photo has about 15 to 20 layers placed on top of each other. I shot on a tripod, so I was able to easily layer each photo on top of one another. The first layer is simply the main setting with the young model reaching out for help. For the second layer, I placed a fan underneath one of the curtains and shot the curtain flying in midair. I then placed that photo on top of the main photo and erased everything underneath the flying curtain. I used this method with the subsequent layers to get the final product.

I’m grateful for the talented team of wardrobe stylists and makeup artists who made this photo possible. Without their insight and contribution, this photo wouldn’t be a winner in this competition.

To see more of Sasha Shemirani’s photography, go to www.sashashemirani.com.

Honorable Mention
André Hermann
André Hermann

Where are you based?
Oakland, California.

Where did you attend school?
The Academy Of Art University, 2009.

What previous contests or awards have you won?
Award of Excellence, documentary category, CPOY-64 (College Photographer of the Year Awards), 2009; 1st place documentary portfolio category, Academy of Art University Spring Show, 2009; Bronze, feature category, CPOY-63 (College Photographer of the Year Awards), 2008; 1st place documentary category, Academy of Art University Spring Show, 2008; 3rd place documentary category, Academy of Art University Spring Show, 2007.

What equipment do you use?
Canon EOS 5D, Canon EF lenses, Voigtländer Bessa L with a Russian 50mm lens.

To see more of André Hermann’s photography, go to www.andrehermannphoto.com.

Honorable Mention
Christian Sweet
Christian Sweet

WhereWhere are you based?
Bonney Lake, Washington.

Where did you attend school?
I briefly attended the Art Institute of Seattle to study Graphic Design. I dropped out in 2010 to pursue photography.

What previous contests or awards have you won?
I won a $25,000 Art Institute scholarship competition for Graphic Design. I sacrificed the scholarship when I made a leap of faith into the realm of photography.

What equipment do you use?
Canon EOS 5D, Canon EF lenses, AlienBees ring flash, Adobe Photoshop CS5.

To see more of Christian Sweet’s photography, go to www.christianjsweet.com.

Honorable Mention
Rachel Blaser
Rachel Blaser

Where are you based?
San Diego, California.

Where did you attend school?
B.A. in Psychology from Reed College in 2001 and then a Ph.D. in Psychology (Behavioral Neuroscience) from the University of Hawaii in 2006. I’ve had little formal training in photography.

What previous contests or awards have you won?
2008 International Photography Awards, Non-professional photographer of the year in the Special category; 2009 English Language subaward of the National Geographic International Photography Competition in the Places category.

What equipment do you use?
Canon Digital Rebel XT, Canon EF lenses, Leica D-LUX 4, Adobe Photoshop CS2.

Honorable Mention
Derek Skalko
Derek Skalko

Where are you based?
Aspen, Colorado.

Where did you attend school?
North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota from 1993 through 1999. Bachelor’s degree in environmental design and architecture. Photographically, while studying abroad in Melbourne, Australia, I took several photography courses.

What previous contests or awards have you won?
None. This is the first photography contest I’ve ever entered.

What equipment do you use?
Canon EOS 5D, Canon EF lenses, Hasselblad 503CW, Hasselblad XPan II, Photoshop Adobe CS5.

Honorable Mention
Richard Baker
Richard Baker

Where are you based?
Buckeye, Arizona.

Where did you attend school?
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design.

What previous contests or awards have you won?
None.

What equipment do you use?
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF lenses, Apple MacBook, Adobe Photoshop.

Honorable Mention
Scott Chebegia
Scott Chebegia

Where are you based?
Encinitas, California.

Where did you attend school?
California State University, San Marcos.

What previous contests or awards have you won?
None.

What equipment do you use?
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF lenses, Calumet Travel light kit, Profoto 7b pack and head with a beauty dish, Lowel hot lights and modifiers, Apple iMac and MacBook Pro, Adobe Photoshop CS4, Photo Mechanic, Photomatix.

Emerging Pro Judges

John Paul Caponigro
John Paul Caponigro is an internationally renowned fine artist. A contributing editor and columnist for Digital Photo Pro, Apple.com and The Huffington Post, he’s the author of Adobe Photoshop Master Class and the DVD series R/Evolution. A highly sought-after lecturer, he teaches workshops around the globe. Visit his website at www.johnpaulcaponigro.com.

Todd Glaser
Todd Glaser is a former pro bodyboarder who’s rapidly making a name for himself in surf photography. The San Diego-based photographer went to work for Surfer magazine shortly after graduating from Brooks Institute of Photography, and has already racked up three cover shots. His work also has been seen everywhere from The Los Angeles Times to T-shirts at the Vans store and the sides of the Quicksilver tour bus. Visit his website at www.tglaser.com.

Douglas Kirkland
Douglas Kirkland has been one of the leading fashion and beauty photographers in the world for more than 50 years. He has photographed silver-screen legends like Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, John
Wayne and Angelina Jolie. He has worked on the sets of more than 100 motion pictures, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Titanic and Moulin Rouge. His award-winning fine-art photography is exhibited all over the world, and he has published several books. Visit his website at www.douglaskirkland.com.

Stephen Mayes
Stephen Mayes is currently managing director of VII Photo Agency. Mayes has worked with photography, art and journalism for 25 years, and he has chaired photography competitions, curated photographic exhibitions and developed creative strategies for major commercial agencies. Mayes is known for his writing and broadcasting on the ethics and realities of photographic practice. Visit www.viiphoto.com.

Angela Marklew
Angela Marklew is a Canadian scientist-turned-photographer based out of Venice Beach, Calif., and specializes in photographing people. She has had work exhibited in Ottawa, Québec, Louisville, San Diego and Los Angeles, and her clients include ELLE Decor, Signature LA Direct magazine, Ëphoe Couture and more. Visit her website at fstopinertia.com.

Amanda Quintenz
Amanda Quintenz is a graduate of the newly formed MFA program at Brooks Institute of Photography. She continues to create fine-art images, teach photography and write regular contributions to Digital Photo Pro. Visit her website at www.amandaquintenz.com.

Christopher Robinson
Christopher Robinson is the Photography Group Editorial Director for Werner Publishing Corporation and the editor of Digital Photo Pro and Outdoor Photographer. He has more than 15 years of experience in publishing.

Dan Saelinger
Dan Saelinger holds an MFA in photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design and teaches at the School of Visual Arts when he’s not shooting commercially. His diverse portfolio includes everything from editorial
assignments to fine-art landscapes, and he has worked with clients like Nike, Lowe’s, Men’s Journal, Dodge and more. Visit his website at www.dansaelinger.com.

Dean Zulich
Dean Zulich is a commercial photographer focusing on fashion and advertising photography. Most famous for his success as the runner-up on the VH1 reality television show The Shot, his work has appeared in Marie Claire, The New York Times, Digital Photo Pro and more. A finalist in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Emerging Pro contests, Zulich also was recently inducted into the Art Institute Alumni Hall Of Fame. Visit his website at www.deanzulich.com.

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